Goodbye, Skipper Stu

Today’s paper brings news of the death of a long-time fixture in Los Angeles newsreporting: Stu Nahan. A long-time fixture at KNBC 4 (and KABC 7 before that, and KTLA 5 after that), Stu Nahan was one of the voices of Southern California sports reporting. Normally, the death of an LA Newscaster would be enough to prompt this obit. But as they say in infomercials, “Wait, there’s more!”

Before he became a sportscaster, Stu had another career. No, I’m not referring to Hockey. Stu was a children’s television host.

His obit notes the following:

In December of [1956] he happened to see the first newscast of a new Sacramento television station. Nahan called the station the next day to complain about the sports segment and ended up getting his first job doing nightly TV sports reports on KCRA, an NBC affiliate.

While in Sacramento he was also the host of a children’s TV program, appearing as “Skipper Stu.” He would show cartoons while piloting his boat, the Channel Tender, accompanied by an octopus puppet, O.U. Squid.

Nahan later moved to Philadelphia to host a children’s show as “Captain Philadelphia” on WKBS. He also did play-by-play for the Flyers hockey team and Eagles pro football team.

Stu returned to Sacramento in 1995 for a KCRA anniversary special that reunited Skipper Stu with Bosun Bill (Bill Rase) and Captain Sacto (Harry Martin), which included a tribute to all three hosts. Captain Philadelphia was lesser known, being on UHF station WGTW.

So not only is Stu’s death a sad note for Los Angeles sports fans, it is a passing of note for the baby boomer children of Sacramento and Philadelphia.